When thinking about strength, your eyes may not be the first body part that comes to mind, but they are one of the most remarkable and interesting!
The eye is an incredibly sophisticated organ, thought to have begun development in animals around 550 million-years-ago.
Eye muscles are the fastest muscles in the body, have over two million working parts (only the brain is more complex) and can see 500 shades of grey (a lot more than just 50!). If our eyes were digital cameras, they would have 576 megapixels.
A number of animals have ‘stronger’ eyesight than humans (stronger in this case meaning better vision). Eagles are commonly known to have the best vision in the animal kingdom. Their acuity is four times better than the average human, able to see a mouse from almost five kilometres away!
Owls have the best night vision, sharks have the best underwater vision, bluebottle butterflies have the best colour vision and chameleons have the broadest field of view. The largest eyeball prize goes to the colossal squid, around 27cm across (or 10 times the size of human eyes).
It is also commonly thought that you can tell a lot about how people are feeling by looking at their eyes. The origin of the phrase ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’ is not exactly known, although there are similar references in ancient Latin works, Shakespeare, Da Vinci and the Bible.
It is believed that around 90 per cent of human communication is non-verbal, with the eyes playing a very important role. If you like something or someone, blink rates increase, and your pupils will dilate. Steady eye contact usually indicates trust (as long as it’s not prolonged staring!), whilst shifty eyes can be a sign of deceptive intent.
Eyes are extremely precious and to date they’re irreplaceable (although research and development continues). Protect your eyes. Get them tested and never take your eyesight for granted.
Andrew Christiansen is the owner and an optometrist at The Optical Superstore Bundaberg.